Just before Independence Day in 2010, over 120 Beagles and 55 long-tailed macaques abandoned at AniClin Laboratories in New Jersey won an important court verdict and were ordered released to sanctuaries. The company had locked their doors and dismissed the employees, some of whom returned and scaled the fence in a desperate attempt to assist the animals locked inside.
I witness amazing, heartwarming scenes at the sanctuary every single day. Here is just one of those stories…
In 2010, we found her wandering aimlessly in the five-acre northwest enclosure, one of 136 monkeys occupying the large natural area. She was moving in an erratic line, taking a few steps at a time and then stopping to extend her hand in front of her, feeling for trees, brush, or monkeys. We could tell that the old girl had gone blind, likely due to age-related issues. After determining there wasn’t any way to repair the damage, we decided to leave her where she was and watch her closely to see if she would adjust.
As I rounded the corner to the small pond inside our 56-acre snow monkey habitat, the problem was easy to see. Staff had reported very low water pressure in the enclosure, and there was the culprit: a silver undulating stream of water spouting eight feet into the air.
The wind came roaring through the scrub and mesquite last night, picking up loose soil and sandblasting everything in its path. The temperature dropped suddenly and what was a pleasant fifty-degree night quickly turned into a dark, shivering ordeal as monkeys scrambled for their shelters.
On Saturday, January 18, a young spider monkey named Brodi was humanely killed in Ohio in order to send his head off for rabies testing, despite the fact that he had recently received a rabies vaccination. His crime was having bitten the thumb of an employee at a car dealership who reached into a vehicle (with permission) to pet the monkey. State law requires the testing to be performed when the animal involved is not domesticated and, unfortunately, there are currently no reliable alternatives to directly testing the brain for the disease. A very sad ending for a very young life, especially considering several accredited sanctuaries reached out to officials with the offer of quarantine and life-long care for him. Sad as it is, the reality is that his unnatural death was a mostly predictable conclusion to a very unnatural life.
As you likely know, the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is home to more than 600 nonhuman primates ranging widely in age, size, and species which include macaques, baboons, and vervets. What you might not know about the Sanctuary is that it is also home to many other non-primate animals.
Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again: those first invigorating days of January, when we take stock of where we've come and where we're going—and make the plans to get us there. At the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, we’ve avowed some goals of our own and we look forward to accomplishing them all in 2014!
2013 is winding down, and time has sure flown by! This will be my last blog of the year, so I want to take the opportunity to look back on our Sanctuary’s 2013 highlights.
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